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Hurricane season 2024: What UNF students need to know

Being a Floridian means dealing with hurricane season and while the dates of hurricane season always remain the same, the outlook, preparation, and predictions change yearly. 

This year is no different. NOAA is predicting an “above normal” hurricane season with 17 to 25 named storms in the Atlantic, higher than the average of 14, due to warmer water temperatures and reduced wind shear in the Atlantic, thanks to La Nina. There were 20 named storms last year and seven hurricanes according to NOAA, similar to this year’s projected numbers.

UNF students who live on campus won’t have to worry about mandatory evacuation since the campus is not currently located in an evacuation zone, which differs depending on location. Students who live off campus can check their evacuation zone by downloading the JaxReady App or checking their website

NOAA Satellites depicts Hurricane Humberto on September 15, 2019.
Students can check their evacuation zones by downloading the JaxReady app or visiting their website. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

For students living on campus, preparation is still important even if the campus isn’t in an evacuation zone. The plus side of hurricanes is that they give people many days in advance to prepare, according to UNF housing director Robert Boyle. Boyle is also a member of the Crisis Management team and said that each student should consult with their families on what evacuation plan is best for them.

“Institutionally, we’re going to work to stay open as long as we can, including residence halls,” Boyle said. “It’s good to have a plan.”

Boyle said that the Crisis Management team will inform the campus community of hurricane and tropical storm measures. He explained that the university takes into account many factors when deciding whether to close campus, such as storm strength and trajectory, events, and number of students on campus. 

Boyle said that Housing and Residence Life tries to operate as normal as possible during a storm. The office will send regular notices to residents about whether to shelter in place and what dining options are available depending on the weather conditions. 

“We try to plan ahead as much as possible,” Boyle said. “Not everything is hard fast.”

In rare cases, Boyle said Housing could close certain residence halls for safety reasons, while directing residents to Osprey Fountains, a dorm that Boyle said best handles strong winds. 

“If we’re not saying everyone absolutely has to leave campus, we can provide some services out of Osprey Fountains.” Boyle said. 

In case of power outages, Boyle said that dorms have generators to provide “life safety support” to residence halls. 

Boyle said that even though some storms don’t cause as much damage as expected, it’s always best to be safe and cautious. 

“We don’t want the storm to be bad, we want to be able to continue to operate and do all the normal things.”

With storms sometimes shifting last minute, Boyle said that can’t be counted on. 

“You can’t bank on [if the storm] is always going to do that.”

Hurricane season begins June 1, 2024 and runs through the end of November, with peak season between August and October. 


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Ethan Howick
Ethan Howick, Sports Reporter
Ethan Howick is a first-year communications major at the University of North Florida. Ethan has a passion for sports journalism with hopes of becoming a journalist and/or broadcaster for a sports media company someday. During his free time, Ethan enjoys spending time with his family and attending many sporting events with friends.

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